Magic Trick: The Antispiritualistic Cigarette Papers

The effect of this little trick can not be imagined; it must be seen to be appreciated. For it the following "properties" are needed: (1) A book of cigarette paper. (2) A piece of thin cardboard, a little larger than a sheet of cigarette paper, covered on one side with blotting paper. (3) A frame of stiff cardboard, the same size as the thin piece, on one side of which are pasted four pieces of rubber band, as shown in Fig. 148, a, b, c, d. A sheet of cigarette paper is laid on the blotting paper and covered with the frame, the rubber side down; the two pieces of cardboard are fastened together with a small clamp, as shown in Fig. 149. The combined action of the blotting paper and the rubber will prevent the paper shifting. (4) Four pieces of colored tissue paper, say, red, blue, yellow, and green, each about one and a half by two inches. (5) Four pieces of colored pencils, of the same colors as the tissue papers. These are each about an inch and a half in length; so as to distinguish them by feeling they are prepared as follows: the red is pointed at one end; the blue at both ends; the yellow pointed at one end, but a notch cut around it; and the green notched in the same way, but pointed at both ends. The slightest touch with the fingers will enable the performer to identify them. The frame with the cigarette paper in place and the four pencils are in the performer's trousers' pocket on his right side. One of the audience is requested to select a leaf of cigarette paper, to roll it into a ball, to stick it on the end of a pin and keep it for a time in sight of the audience. Another of the audience is asked to select a piece of the colored tissue paper, and to keep it for a moment, while a third one is requested to choose a word or a number and to announce it, so that everyone may know it. In the meanwhile the performer has thrust his hand into his pocket and found the pencil of the same color as the selected tissue. Then in his pocket he writes on the framed piece of paper the word or number that was called out, releases the clip that holds the two pieces of cardboard, and getting hold of the paper rolls it into a pellet. With this concealed between his thumb and forefinger, he takes the ball of paper off the pin and exchanging one pellet for the other places the one from his pocket on the selected piece of tissue paper. Rolling these together and putting both on the point of the pin, he hands it again to some one to hold. Then calling to the spirits from the vasty deep, he bids the one who holds the pin to open the pellet, and when this is done the selected word or number is found on the cigarette paper written in the color of the selected tissue paper.

Fig. 148

Fig. 149

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